Stalking

Project Status:

Tabled in parliament

Start Date:

17/02/2021

Tabled in Parliament Date:

21/09/2022

Reference

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has completed its report on Victoria’s response to stalking, harassment and similar conduct, including the operation of the Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO) system in Victoria. The report was tabled and released on 21 September 2022 and is available from the links below in several formats.

The interim report on Stalking, which focusses on the police response, was tabled in Parliament and ordered to be published on 6 April 2022. Download it from the links below.

Summary of the issues

Stalking affects at least one in six women and around one in 15 men. It is a set of behaviours that can cause great harm to victims’ mental and physical health and can also escalate to serious violence, homicide and suicide.

This report is the first Australian inquiry into non-family violence stalking laws. It contains 45 recommendations to improve the ways that the justice system treats people who have experienced stalking in a non-family violence context. The Commission received 115 submissions to its inquiry, and 254 responses to an online form asking about people’s experiences of stalking.

The report recommends that victims should have easier access to financial and practical support, such as technology to prevent cyberstalking. Victims should be supported by independent advocates to guide them through every stage, from reporting the stalking activity to accessing support services and any court actions.

The report also recommends improvements to the personal safety intervention order (PSIO) system. The system is currently swamped, so non-family violence stalking matters do not receive the attention they need. The VLRC recommends developing guidance on how to identify and prioritise stalking cases.

Another recommendation calls for the Crimes Act to be amended to make the stalking offence clearer and easier to apply.

Content warning

Some of the material on these pages may be confronting or disturbing.

Need help now?

If you are experiencing being stalked now and you need help, you should contact the police, or (in Victoria) the Victims of Crime Helpline: Call 1800 819 817  Text 0427 767 891.

In other states:

NSW Victims Access Line 1800 633 063
NSW Aboriginal Contact Line 1800 019 123
QLD Victim Assist 1300 546 587
SA Victims of Crime 08 8204 9635
WA Victim Support Service 1800 818 988
NT Victims of Crime 1800 672 242
ACT Victim Support 1800 822 272
TAS Victims of Crime Service 1300 300 238

Ethical reporting

The Victorian Law Reform Commission encourages sensitive, ethical reporting of the issues related to this reference. We request that the contact details of support services are included in media reports because people who have experienced stalking may have long lasting trauma.

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Project Stage

  • Terms of reference received
  • Submissions and consultations
  • Submissions closed
  • Final Report
  • Tabled in parliament

Publications

Publication Date

21/09/2022

The final report was tabled in Parliament on 21 September 2022.
Publication Date

The final report was tabled in Parliament on 21 September 2022. Read more
Publication Date

21/09/2022

The final report was tabled in Parliament on 21 September 2022. Read more
Publication Date

06/04/2022

This interim report was tabled in Parliament on 6 April 2022. Its recommendations deal primarily with the police response to reports of stalking. Read more
Publication Date

06/04/2022

This interim report was tabled in Parliament on 6 April 2022. Its recommendations deal primarily with the police response to reports of stalking. Read more
Publication Date

06/04/2022

This interim report was tabled in Parliament on 6 April 2022. Its recommendations deal primarily with the police response to reports of stalking. Read more
Publication Date

25/10/2021

The Commission received these submissions to its review of Stalking laws. Read more
Publication Date

26/06/2021

This consultation paper outlines the issues with the current law and asks some questions about how the law could be reformed. Read more
Publication Date

24/06/2021

This consultation paper outlines the issues with the current law and asks some questions about how the law could be reformed. Read More
Publication Date

26/06/2021

This consultation paper outlines the issues with the current law and asks some questions about how the law could be reformed. Read more
Publication Date

The Attorney-General provided the Commission with these terms of reference for the Stalking inquiry. Read more